tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 2, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
i'm wolf blitzer. join us week days in "the situation room" from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. eastern, every saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. at this time every weekend on cnn international. the news continues next on cnn. right now on cnn, a woman in rochester, new york, who was arrested after videotaping a police stop from her front lawn. >> not deserving what they're doing. and they're arresting me. i don't understand what's going on. i did nothing. i did nothing. >> she was arrested for obstruction. well, the case was dropped. we're going to talk to her and see what happens now. fellow soldiers honor one of their own lost in combat in afghanistan. he was serving as an openly gay soldier. his parents are honoring his memory by fighting for same-sex marriage in minnesota. when you enter the military, you have to take an oath to
protect and defend the constitution. and to protect the country against foreign and domestic enemies. the enemy here is intolerance, misinformation, bigotry, probably greed. so as a soldier, that is what he was fighting for. >> i'll talk to them and a lawmaker in the state who wants to outlaw gay marriage. plus this -- ♪ that will never ♪ ain't no one going to love you ♪ >> boy, looks like a great time. one of the biggest music events in the country is in full swing in new orleans. we'll take you live to the essence music festival. i'm don lemon at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. a lot of news, let's get you caught up. a tragic holiday weekend for a family in indiana. one boy is dead, and his older stepbrother now faces a murder charge. police arrived at the home near martinsville on thursday. the 6-year-old had been shot in
the head. he later died in the hospital. family and friends are still struggling to understand just what happened. >> they got along just fine. all normal. nothing out of the ordinary to suggest that anything would happen. i was crushed. i cried all night. the kids didn't know what was going on. it's hard. >> the 11-year-old stepbrother has a hearing next wednesday. he could be charged as an adult. we'll follow. a missouri man has been charged with felony sexual assault after allegedly raping an unconscious woman on a city sidewalk. 48-year-old melvin jackson told kansas city police he thought the woman was dead. >> this is a new one. this is not one that i've seen come through before. there were witnesses that saw this happening, and they stepped up and reported it. they -- they gave help to this woman. >> the alleged victim said she became dizzy after walking in the heat. after lying down, she lost consciousness. she said she awoke to a good samaritan shouting at the suspect to get off of her. jackson is in jail on a $70,000
bond. a 71-year-old seattle grandfather has been arrested for a child murder more than five decades ago. police say jack daniel mccullough was living with his wife under an assumed name in a retirement community. he's accused of killing -- kidnapping and killing a 7-year-old girl in 1957 outside chicago. here's her photo on the cover of today's "chicago sun-times" newspaper. mccullough was a suspect early in the investigation, but police say the case went cold after he changed his name and joined the military. the former head of the international monetary fund is free from house arrest. dominique strauss-kahn and his wife today left the manhattan townhouse where they've been staying. he was arrested in may for an alleged sexual assault against a hotel housekeeper. but in recent days, the case appears to be unraveling because of the alleged victim's own credibility issues. cnn has more on the story from new york. susan, bring us up to date.
>> reporter: well, we have additional information for you, don, from a source with direct knowledge of the investigation. this has to do with a couple of other credibility issues that investigators from the district attorney's office have uncovered. on the first thing we're talking about has to do with a jailhouse phone call that investigator discovered was made, they said, from -- according to our source, from the maid -- or rather from a jailhouse inmate to the maid. this is a boyfriend of hers. and this phone call was made the day after the alleged sexual assault. investigators say that the girlfriend said -- the maid said to her boyfriend, "she says she's fine, and this person is rich and there's money to be made." now this is a critical phone call. naturally one of the credibility issues. there's one other thing, don. we also learned about the existence of several bank accounts that were in the name of the maid.
these were in several different states, and we understand that several thousand dollars had been put in there by neem sources tell us -- by people that sources tell us had a criminal background. the story initially reported by "the new york times." our source tells us, "she was getting deposits of several thousand dollars at a time from people she knew potentially involved in drug dealing." back to you. >> thank you very much. we want to go to the heartland now where the independence day weekend is a chance for political candidates to work the crowds. republican congresswoman michele bachmann is in iowa, home to the iowa caucuses. the first big election event in 2012. cnn's shannon travis is the only reporter to speak with bachmann today, and he asked her why iowa is so important. >> iowa's the first in the nation. it's very important to be here and have a presence here because the values and the opinions that people have in iowa count. they count for the nation. so it's important that we come here. had is the bread basket of the world for a reason.
this is where the food is grown, we have the best farmers in the world here in iowa. so it's important to come and listen to what people have to say in iowa and take that message back to washington, d.c. >> michele bachmann has been on a roll recently joining mitt romney in a recent iowa poll. she officially kicked off her campaign in iowa last month. 4th of july celebrations in minnesota have been scaled down for this weekend. state parks, the state zoo, even race tracks are all closed right now. a budget stalemate has shut down almost all of minnesota's state business. closed signs went up early friday after budget talks broke down between republican lawmakers and minnesota's democratic governor. the sticking point -- taxes or, as some call them now, new revenue sources. >> sad commentary on politics. it's turned into a sport rather than -- than working to solve a problem. >> this is chris sapalko.
when the government is up and running he gives driving tests. right now he is camped out on the capitol lawn, hadises way of protesting the shutdown. >> these people back here are acting like kids. i couldn't work with my co-workers like this. and just, you know, walk out of the room and say i don't want to talk to them or not -- not give any room on anything. never make any compromise with anybody. >> camping out on the capitol lawn until he can go back to work. there are to be no more executions in illinois. 15 inmate already on death row have had their sentences commuted to life in prison. governor pat quinn signed the ban on capital punishment in march, and it officially took effect today. no one has been executed in illinois in more than a decade. and governor george ryan imposed the moratorium after a review cleared more than a dozen condemned inmates. i'm sorry i was standing in my front yard. i don't know what was going on in my neighborhood.
and you're arresting me. what the hell is going on right now? >> video of this arrest went viral. and outrage online grew. this rochester woman has every reason to say "in your face" to the officer who handcuffed her. emily goode joins me live next. many of you have been asking for information through social media. you can reach out on twitter, facebook, cnn.com/don, and on foursquare. and you can check out my book "transparent." ...was it something big? ...or something small? ...something old? ...or something new? ...or maybe, just maybe... it's something you haven't seen yet. the 2nd generation of intel core processors. stunning visuals, intelligent performance. this is visibly smart.
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emily goode of rochester, new york, recorded police as she stood in her own front yard. then police put goode under arrest, raising the question -- did officers -- did that officer in particular overstep his authority? good's supporters say yes, he did. and they felt even more justified this week after the charge against her of obstruction of government administration was dropped. good is on the left there hugging her attorney. now the police union says officers are in greater danger on the street and that several of them have been threatened. >> an example of some of these threats are -- "i hope this [ bleep ] gets killed." "i want to see cops like this getting fried and hung in the streets." "if you wear a badge, you're a target." i'm going to add, these threats are not the worst threats, and they're not the threats that are being investigated. >> so emily good joins me now. we're also talking to erica bryant, a columnist for "the rochester democratic chronicle."
thank you for joining us. emily, it wasn't the judge but the monroe county prosecutor that dropped the charge. what was your immediate reaction? you must have felt some sense of i was right and the officer was abusing his power. >> yes, i was relieved. but i also feel like justice has not been done, and that officer has not yet been brought to justice. he's still -- he still hasn't faced the realty that he committed an unlawful act. and i am also alarmed that the president of the police union maintains that that was a lawful arrest, and he insists that citizens do not have the right to observe or to question police officers. >> okay. we asked the officer who was arrested, who arrested you, and the leaders from rochester police and the police union to join us tonight. all declined and did not respond. this week, i have to say the union, the rochester police
locust club, right, said your episode, emily, has created defiant and a dangerous attitude. >> mrs. good's message that has gone out to the public is that you have a right to interfere and question the actions of a police officer is irresponsible, is a danger to the officers, the individuals, the officers -- the individuals the officers are dealing with and any bystanders. a simple street stop can turn deadly in seconds. >> emily, what's your response to that? >> if we don't have a right to question police officers, then where we're living in a police state. and i absolutely maintain that we have a right to question authority in every level of the -- of our government, every civil servant. >> yeah. erica, as a rochester native and you wrote a column there, what do you think about the union statement that it's dangerous for people to interfere with
police business? which, first of all, they're saying she was interfearing, but the prosecutor said she was not interfering. what do you think, do people have the right to question? >> of course, i do believe that people have the right to question. and that if you are in a situation where you feel that your rights are being violated, you should stand up and say something. but the column that i ended up writing about this incident was -- my husband and i were talking about ms. good and how she stood her ground and how brave that was, but i said that i wouldn't want my son to do that because i would fear for him used to cases like amadue diallo where a man who was reaching for a wallet was actually believed to have been thought to be reaching for a gun and was shot 41 times and other cases where citizens who have been thought to be confronting the police have had -- had things end badly for them.
so though i do believe that people have a right to stick up for their civil liberties, i also believe i would tell my son, i'd say, you know, if you want to stick up for your civil liberty, go to law school because it can -- things can end badly if are you seen to be making police feel unsafe. >> i have to ask you -- there have been a number of incidents, some of them chronicled on youtube and in your particular paper. is there an issue with rochester police? is it heavyhandedness, racial profiling, what's going on there that seem to be different than many other places? or is there anything going that's different? >> i don't believe that it's different from any other places. and i believe that -- i would say that all of my interactions with rochester police officers in life have been excellent, and i've never had any problem with any particular rochester police officer. and i have family who are police officers, but when you see
specific incidents where, for example, in the city close to rochester recently there was a young man, a young african-american male, who was shot during a police stop. and the police believed he had a gun but no gun was ever found in the car, and -- >> listen, i don't have much time here. what are you saying, that -- >> sorry. >> that nothing is different in rochester, or is it an issue nationwide? >> no, i don't think it's different in rochester. sorry? >> you believe there is an issue or not an issue? an issue nationwide and rochester is no different or there's no issue and rochester and the police are fair? >> i believe it's an issue nationwide. >> okay. emily, i have to get to this -- there have been other questionable events involving you and police. last week your supporter came together and police issued five parking tickets. look at this real quick -- >> really? a civilian complaint? regarding the parking being further than 12 inches from the curb? okay, that's 12 inches from the -- >> you can see the officers brought out rumors showing how far people had parked from the curb. some say this was police retaliation and you also had a burglary in your home.
and the ipods that was used to shoot your arrest was taken, and police took some time to respond to your home. what do you think? was it retaliation, the parking? what do you think happened with your ipod and the police response? >> i do feel that the burglary was suspicious considering my ipod was the thing that was targeted. i can't speculate any further than that on the burglary. i feel like the meeting of my supporters in which four uniformed police officers showed up in four patrol cars and issued tickets is clearly a case of intimidation. there was also an arrest the night of my case's dismissal of a young african-american man who was videotaping the police again. he was arrested for jaywalking. >> and emily, you're going to sue, right? >> yes. >> all right. thank you, emily. thank you, erica. >> thank you. >> thank you. the british royals are getting some hands-on experience during their tour of canada.
prince william and his new wife are now in montreal. we'll have a report. ♪ and speaking of royals, a bride's tears of joy in monaco. we'll take you to prince albert's royal wedding. first, some new york city kids are out painting the town literally. they're adding a splash of color to their communities and their futures. cnn's education contributor and high school principal steve perry explains in tonight's "perry's principles." >> reporter: this man had no idea a paintbrush would move his life. he moved from beginy in west africa to new york city when he was 10. what is the reason you came to the u.s.? >> better education. my mother thought that i'd have a better opportunity to just succeed in life. >> reporter: he had a hard time fitting in at school. he didn't speak english, kept to himself, and eventually started hanging with the wrong crowd. but then he found public color.
>> i basically came here every day -- >> reporter: the nonprofit puts paintbrushes in the hands of stops brighten up schools, neighborhoods, and low-income areas across new york city. >> color has huge power. >> reporter: ruth andy shoeman founded color 15 years ago with the idea that color can positively affect attitudes and behaviors. >> the colors that we choose, they're bright. they brighten up a person's mood. >> everything -- like your whole perception of the place changes. >> when i finish a project, i look and say, wow, i really helped the community. >> i think society is letting kids get away with not caring. these kids, they'll become what we help them become. >> reporter: public color provides tutor, mentoring, college scholarships, and career workshops. >> last year, 100% of our students went on to college. >> reporter: he created with the
help of a color public scholarship. add to he works -- today he works for a fortune 500 company and works to public color on the weekends. he wants to open his own business. >> public color was always for me to come back to who i really am and stay on track and try to reach success. >> reporter: steve perry, new york. >> announcer: this past year alone there's been a 67% spike in companies embracing the cloud-- big clouds, small ones, public, private, even hybrid. your data and apps must move easily and securely to reach many clouds, not just one. that's why the network that connects, protects, and lets your data move fearlessly through the clouds means more than ever.
♪ three days down, sick busy days to go. prince william and his wife catherine are on their first official tour of canada. they planted a hemlock tree near the same spot where prince charles and princess diana planted a pinoak in 1983. they're in montreal where they visited a children's hospital. next week the duke and duchess of cambridge head to los angeles. a first visit to the u.s. for catherine. you know, with prince william and catherine on their royal vacation, they could not attend another royal event. the marriage of prince albert of monaco to charlene woodstock of south africa. the couple held a civil service on friday. and today before 3,500 guests, they made their union official under the catholic church. [ applause ]
♪ [ cheers ] >> look at the festivities there. you know, it's stephen colbert versus washington. >> ladies and gentlemen, i am sorry to say we won! i am a super pac! [ applause ] >> and so can you. >> well, he's gotten the go ahead to form a political action committee that he calls a super pac. and with that, he is jumping into the world of campaign finance. we're going to explain. one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do.
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to catch you up on the headlines -- moammar gadhafi issues a new warning to europe, vowing vengeance for nato's bombings in his country. he says homes and offices across europe could be potential targets. a state department spokesman says the u.s. takes gadhafi's threats seriously and will continue to support nato's mission in libya. texas authorities are urging americans to stay away from the mexican border city of new a oh laredo this weekend. the warning indicates a violent drug cartel plan to target americans for robbery, extortion, and carjackings. nuevo la raid so across the border from laredo, texas. help may object the way for fatigued air traffic controllers. the faa is out with new rules that should help them stop falling asleep on the job.
there must be at least nine hours between shifts. during overnight hours, controllers can read or listen to the radio, but only when there is not a lot of air traffic. they can also take sick days if they're too tired to work. the controllers still can't nap on breaks. rhode island has legalized civil unions. governor lincoln chafee signed the bill into law today. it will give same-sex couples a bunch of new state tax breaks, health care benefits, and legal perks, but falls short of marriage rights. three marines in california are accused of a marriage scheme that bilked the government out of $75,000. the female marine at the center of the case admits she is married, she married a straight marine at camp pendleton to receive a $1,200 monthly housing allowance. her civilian girlfriend did the same thing with another marine. the financial assistance is offered by the military to heterosexual couples, married couples. i don't know about you, but
i do not accept limit on my free speech. [ cheers ] >> i don't know about you, but i do not accept the status quo. [ cheers ] >> but i do accept visa, mastercard, and american express. >> all right. he can't be serious, can he? i don't know. maybe not. you never know because he is stephen colbert. but he's making a serious point there. i want to bring in maureen o'connor, staff writer for gawker.com. hello, maureen. >> hi, don. >> you know, colbert was in d.c. collecting money. what -- what is this all about? >> so in satirizing campaign finance laws loosening, colbert started his own super pac which is a type of organization that only recently became legal. they can raise money and spend money from private citizens as well as corporations without limit. the one sort of caveat on that is that they have to disclose who donates to them. so he both started his own super pac and also petitioned to have about sort of created something
that people are worried might turn into a loophole in that they ruled the fcc ruled that the money that comes from viacom, the company that owns comedy central, won't count as donations when colbert starts working on his super pac. the fear that some people say is that this is allowing media organizations to have an unprecedented way of funneling resources then into campaigns and into the super pacs. >> okay. that happened on thursday. and just two days before, he was tightlipped when he met with me in his studio, and we taped an upcoming appearance by me on his show. take a look at some of the pictures that we were shooting. anyway, there's me in front of the colbert set. i can't give it away because i've been sworn to secrecy until it happens, but it's a skit that involves obviously cnn. and there's stephen colbert, also my book that you see when the banner's down. i'll be on there. but there's no air date for it. he didn't tell me anything about this. he wouldn't talk. he wouldn't talk. he's a very funny guy.
i'll be on the upcoming stephen colbert, "the colbert report," short shortly. there's his producer in the middle. maureen, look for me. make sure you watch. tell everybody on gawker to watch. >> yes. >> let's talk about president obama. a light in a moment news conference this week when he said congress could learn a lesson from his school-aged daughters about how to meet a deadline to reduce the deficit. but that there was a problem. why don't you listen to this. >> malia and sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time. malia's 13, sasha's 10. it is impressive. they don't wait until the night before. they're not pulling all-nighters. [ laughter ] >> they're -- they're 13 and 10. >> all right. so did he get ahead of himself on malia's age? >> he -- he did.
she's actually only 12. she's turning 13 next week. these moments when obama ad libs about his family, he's previously referred to milia's growth spurt and a test she took when he was talking about education, they're interesting moments because we see a little of how obama reconciles his private and personal lives, that he does keep his daughters away from cameras. but you can tell that when he ad libs he does go to thoughts about them and thoughts like -- i would assume about her birthday, which is coming up and getting ahead of himself on the age there. >> yeah. he probably just averaged it out, went ahead just a little bit. and then -- as you get older, you go backwards a lot. so, all right, maureen, appreciate it. thank you. happy 4th, okay? >> sure. yes, you, too, thanks. a mother and father who lost their son while he was fighting in afghanistan are taking on a fight of their own for same-sex marriage rights. coming up, hear why this course is so important. 33 mpg, over 500 highway miles a tank. one of our 9 models over 30 mpg highway.
now that new york state has legalized same-sex marriage, minnesota is shaping up to be the next battleground. a ballot initiative proposes limiting marriage to one man and one woman. which brings us to army corporal andrew willfred. he was from minnesota and last february at age 31, he was killed in combat in afghanistan.
one other thing that you should knew about him, the corporal was openly gay. in fact, he was the first openly gay soldier killed in action since the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. and a short time ago, a few minutes ago, i spoke with his parents, jeff and lori, about why they have taken up the cause of defending same-sex marriage and fighting against next november's ballot initiative and what their son would say about it. >> this is a guy who read the constitution, and he thought that states took grate liberties with the constitution by putting topical things of the day on it. he believed it was a -- a document that protected all human beings, and it was for equal rights, and he would be really upset by this for two reasons. you know, putting another amendment on the constitution, that is maybe only important to a small group of people at this period of time in history. and it marginalized his -- himself and his community.
so yeah, he would be really upset about this. >> i also spoke with state senator himmer who pushed to get it on the ballot. i asked what he would say to the wilfahrts that believe this amendment discriminates against gay people like their son. >> first, i want to tell them i'm sorry for the loss of their son and the service that they -- that their son provided for the people of the united states, the people in minnesota. however, that son may have had a different view than i have. but why is his views any more important than, say, a heterosexual soldier that lost his life in afghanistan, as well? how do we define the direction, and do we just listen to one -- one soldier, one family, or do we try to -- to include everyone in it, in this decision?
>> you'll hear much more from both senator limmer and the family tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. and you can learn more about corporal andrew wilfahrt, how he lived and died on, cnn.com. remember google buzz and wave? probably not. they didn't really catch on. now google is trying to get into the social networking game again. this time with google-plus. some say it looks a lot like some popular site. a preview next. maybe, it's something you haven't seen yet. the 2nd generation of intel core processors. this is visibly smart.
stephen, are you jealous this i'm here? >> of course i'm jealous. this guy's only two years younger than i am. he looks like a baby. look at this -- my face looks like a moccasin. look -- look how smoothes that is. the guy doesn't even have to shave yet. it's not fair! follow don lemon at @cnn -- >> that's it. >> that it? >> do i have to throw a dot-com in it or anything? >> no. >> i don't the kid with a twitter speak -- >> you have twitter? >> i do, it's @email@example.com. >> stephen is crazy. all right. in this next story, if it sounds familiar, it's because we've been here before. once again, google is trying to get into the social networking game. funny thing is google-plus looks an awful lot like facebook and
myspace. one the most popular social networking site was dumped at the fire sale for $35 million. that's just a fraction of its worth, just a few years ago. so let's bring in now brian tan, senior editor of cnet. first of all, i am don lemon cnn, not don lemon -- you're tweeting the wrong person. you're supposed to be the tech ex-exerts, and i just bust -- expert, and i just busted you out on twitter. >> we didn't even get to the story and called me out on your twitter name. don, come on. show me some love. a little bit. >> i keep it real. >> i know you do. i realize that. >> let's talk google buzz and google wave. now google plus. is it going to work this time? >> well, here's the thing -- google-plus is right now in a limited beta. really the tech world or the tech community, kind of geeks like me that want to dig this stuff, they're the ones who have access to it. the invites were so popular that they shut it down. but why it might work is because really we've kind of been trained on facebook of how to do social network. this is the first time that it
got to the masses. now google, what they're trying to do with plus is make it more pick is. they have things called circles. in our lives we have different circles of friends often facebook we normally post something and it goes out to our buddies. with google-plus, you can drag and drop specific buddies and send a message. it's catered for you to choose who i want -- kind of the next level of how you can kind of get facebook more advanced to target the specific people in your life that you care about. the big thing -- sorry, go ahead. >> i want to ask you, it's exclusive. is that a good strategy, though? >> the problem is google is such a big company, and they hear that it's a new social network but hear i can't get in it. that in itself is a mixed message. this is in early release. it's not -- everyone can't get access yet. but the main thing is if people want to jump over to google-plus, the challenge is getting your mom, my grandma, grand grandpa, mop and dad, those -- policewoman and dad, those people decides if it's successful. not you or me, but the
mainstream audience that wants to jump to google and interact differently with their social network. >> okay. do you remember when facebook and myspace -- they were going neck in neck and then, you know -- >> yeah. >> facebook overtook it. news corp. unloaded myspace for next to nothing. and now justin timberlake is one of the investors. can the myspace brands be saved now with justin and other folks? >> well, that's the question that we're going to have to see how it plays out. one good sign is that justin timberlakedentally involved in the -- timber like delake deepl involved in the music industry. there's not really creative directors or cohesion of the product. justin timberlake is a media guy, and that's the roots of where it started. if they can bring it back with compelli compelling content that's original -- he wants to make it a place for celebrities and fans to interact with content, it
could see a surge. it's not going to come back on the levels it used to be at. at one point it was valued at $1 billion. but if they can get an audience to come back and interact and be part of it, i guess you would say that would be a mild success. we'll see how it shakes out. i think the alignment. timberlake and myspace makes a little sense. >> listen, the pope now has made the leap doing his first tweet. he's on twitter. what do you think? >> well, i think that he won't get your name wrong on twitter, first of all. >> yeah. because he's -- >> you know, he -- he is the pope benedict, tweeted on the site. the catholic church has been really involved to spread the message. they have facebook,tube, and a twitter stream. they approved an itune prayer app. they endorsed it a while ago. shows they're in touch with the younger generation and everyone interactive on the web. it's fun and silly to see the pope tap on an ipad and tweet.
>> it would be great if he was like pound chilling with the boys at pound vatican -- real tweet talk. would have been hilarious. we have -- >> hash tag real talk. >> seriously, in five seconds -- >> go, go. >> do you think that there is -- do we have like certain twitter people and facebook people and the two don't mesh? do you find one more -- that you like one more than the other? >> twitter for people that, you know, work in media allows you to send a message out to people where facebook is at least more personal. and even though you can get access to someone on twitter quickly, facebook is more of your personal friends. so that's really where it's different. you know, that -- that's how i see it and use it. >> yeah. i find myself using it. i was wondering -- i find myself using twitter much more. i wondered if there was -- >> yeah, definitely. you got a lot of messages to send out to people. >> yep. thank you. appreciate it, brian. >> all right. thanks. see you, don. >> don lemon cnn. ♪ oh, it is billed as the ultimate party weekend. the 18th annual essence music
fest is in full swing in new orleans. straight ahead, we take you to the big easy for the big party. soledad's there. we're going to talk. ♪ twenty-five thousand mornings, give or take, is all we humans get. we spend them on treadmills. we spend them in traffic. and if we get lucky, really lucky, it dawns on us to go spend them in a world where a simple sunrise can still be magic. twenty-five thousand mornings. make sure some of them are pure michigan. your trip begins at michigan.org.
weekend for the 17th annual essence music festival. and we've got some cnn stars there, too. and some essence stars, as well. soledad o'brien joins us live from new orleans with a special guest. hello, ladies. by the way, the official sponsor, cnn. so how's it going so far? >> i'll answer that. it's been going really, really well. michelle ebanks is president of and is the person in charge of making sure we're all having fun. it's been great. i want to ask you a quick question about the empowerment session, the big part of the day today. why did you decide to do empowerment sessions? >> empowerment sessions are always very important of this idea of coming to celebrate essence here in new orleans. you know, the idea was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the essence with the party in the superdome but the editor said we're essence, we can't just have a party, we have to be present in the lives of the community for those who can't
afford a ticket to the concert and those who can. and we have to add value. and then, you know, from there was born the empowerment seminars. >> how do you engage success? is it in the number of tickets sold, how much money you make, how many people come? >> it's how many people come to new orleans. you know, this is an event that attracts people from not only across the country but around the world. how many people were there in the superdome over three nights and how many peer are here in the convention center. we take over 600,000 square feet. we can accommodate a lot of people here. >> yeah. he's walking by, my feet hurt. a lot of walking today. talk about your commitment to new orleans, which is a city that i love, but essence also loves new orleans. it has for a long time. >> yes. absolutely. this is a 17th essence music festival. and 16 of those years have been in new orleans. and new orleans is our natural home. it is -- this is really cultural
celebration, a cultural festival and new orleans is a mecca for all things cultural, music, food, diverse communities here. this is where we celebrate culture best. >> you have launched really your new editor in chief. i've had a chance to chat with her. it's been great to see her out on the stage and really -- she's been there for a while now, but really launched officially here at this festival. what do you want viewers -- readers really to know about her and about where the magazine is going. >> well, constance white as editor and chief of "essence," you know, she is just adding such infusing more energy and style into the magazine while still reflecting the real lives and stories of black women, still creating that very sacred place and space that black women have. and it's just going to be that much more exciting place to be.
>> she's terrific. >> can i jump in there? can i jump in because i'm watching. i'm so jealous. i was there yesterday. i want to be there now. i'm glad you said that about new orleans. i talked to the mayor concerned about the crime problem. i saw lots of police in force, lots of security. people should feel safe that they're there. as someone who grew up in louisiana, i thank you for micking a commitment to new orleans. i want to talk to you about what new orleans is known for. guys enjoy essence as well. thank you, michelle. i want to talk about the food. yesterday i ripped through that place and ate everything that i could see. what have you guys been munching on? a chance to chow down? >> you should pack on a lot of pounds. >> fried oysters. a wonderful restaurant here that has a sandwich that is a fried oyster and bacon and tomato sandwich. it's so delicious. but you can't -- you really can't have that more than once a year really. but, yeah, i mean, new orleans is about great food and music.
this is a vacation or a party you have to rest from. >> well, you eat a lot and then the idea is that you dance it all off in the evening. but you have to balance the two. >> yes. very true. >> you can become empowered by eating and dancing. i have to say. right? >> yes, you can. >> you know what? i'm going to go to the parties for you tonight. just because i love you. >> all right. >> i'm going to go for you and represent for you because you can't be here. >> all right. dance off some of my weight that i gained yesterday. soledad and michelle, thank you so much. have a great time, okay? >> thanks. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> we're back right after this with the headlines. mobile app.hwab it's schwab at your fingertips wherever, whenever you want. one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do. check out your portfolio, track the market with live updates. and execute trades anywhere and anytime the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done.
all right. here are your headlines. a huge break in a cold case that's 54 years old? police arrested 71-year-old jack mccullough in seattle for the murder of 7-year-old of sick more, illinois. he has been living in a retirement community with his wife. in 1957 investigators found the girl's remains. mccullough under a different name was a suspect back then but lost track of him after he enlisted in the military under a different name. missouri man charge with felony sexual assault after allegedly raping a woman who had passed out at a kansas city on a sidewalk. 48-year-old melvin jackson told police he thought the woman was dead. the alleged victim said she
became dizzy after walking in the heat. after lying down she lost consciousness. she awoke to a good samaritan of shouting at the suspect to get off her. jackson is in jail on $70,000 bond. 11-year-old indiana boy faces murder charges tonight in the fatal shooting of his younger stepbrother. hearing set for july 6th. the boy should be charged as an adult or could be charged as an adult. police arrived at the boy's home near martinsville on thursday to find the younger boy shot in the head with a .22. prosecutor now says the shooting does not appear to be accidental. some minnesota at tracks are close and not just for the holiday. state parks, the state zoo, even racetracks are all not operating right now because of a state government shutdown. 4th of july celebrations have also been scaled back. this is day two of minnesota's closure because of an impasse between republican lawmakers and state's democratic